expressive worship

Worship Set Week-to-Week

I’ve been talking recently with “Worship Leader Jay” about dealing with the simple ‘how-to’ of putting together your worship set and your team. You can check out some of what I learned from Jay in these blogs: Baby Steps and The Freedom to Disappoint

Now I want to share some of the things working for him since taking over as a new worship leader a few years ago:

The number of singers you have on your team is probably going to be determined by the style of music you do week to week, or perhaps the number of singers available. Smaller churches may have only a handful of singers to use, and larger churches – in order to get more people involved – use a rotation system so all get a chance to sing once a month or so.

Jay is in a medium large church and uses 1 female and 1 male lead singer, 2 altos and 2 tenors. He sings lead as well, but if he needs to cue upcoming lines or encourage the congregation to sing with verbal cues, he’s covered on the lead vocal lines.

Band members can be rotated as well – maybe on a team basis, so the same players get used to playing together and achieve a tighter sound. I would encourage you though to change this up occasionally, as I know Jay does from time to time. Maybe one Sunday you just use a percussionist, an acoustic guitar, and 2 singers. Try to fit the mood/style of the music with the type of service you and your pastor are planning.

We are regularly asked how often songs should be repeated throughout the year and how often to bring in new songs. Jay says when he introduces a new song, he will do it 2 weeks in a row, then skip a week, then again on the 4th week, and again the 7th week.

Now, if you are selecting songs that go specifically with the message, this approach won’t work. But personally I don’t feel your entire music set needs to match up with the message. (It’s nice if your specials do however.)

It’s tempting to just keep picking the popular songs, but you’ll run the risk of wearing them out sooner. Repetition is good, but only to a point.

Keeping things fresh is important, but so is familiarity. I’ve heard people complain at every church I’ve been a part of… some think there are too many new songs and others think there aren’t enough.

Again, going back to something I said in ‘Freedom to Disappoint’, you will never please everyone. You’re going to TRY, cuz that’s how we’re programmed. But eventually you’ll come to terms with complaints and be able to tell yourself, “I’m doing the best I can!”

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Amy Wolter

Amy has vast and varied experience in music, from keyboardist to lead singer, from songwriter to producer. She fronted a nationally touring Christian rock band that garnered some top 10 CCM hits. Playing in a variety of venues and churches gave her a real understanding of what audiences and congregations connect with. As a member of her church’s worship team, Amy understands the challenges that come with this, and enjoys helping Christian artists and Worship Teams create freedom in the room to truly express their worship.

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  1. Kristy Gill says:

    Amy, I am loving these posts. I feel God has placed me in a church for the last few years to learn how to better lead people to Christ and not just perform or entertain. These posts have affirmed to me that I am in fact hearing the voice of God on how to lead the worship team in order to serve the congregation. Keep writing on worship leading!

    • Amy Wolter says:

      Good to hear from you Kristy! So glad the posts are helpful to you. Keep us posted on how your team is doing!

  2. This was a great article! Very helpful and I feel a sense of fresh direction.

    • Amy Wolter says:

      Thanks Giuseppe! Please let me know if you have questions on specific issues with leading worship or being part of a worship team. Would like hearing more from you!

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